What Google will NEVER Know, but Our Students Should


Many students think that the Prophet Google really knows everything. I mean, humanity can easily turn to their web browser for “answers” or shout out a "beck and call" to their Alexa from across the room for an even lazier demand for information, but Google doesn’t know much about our hearts and abilities--especially if I trick it into believing that I like scarecrows and AstroTurf when doing some bogus internet searches to mess with its so-called, marketing-driven, intuitive mind. Then, I laugh when, later in the day, I see AstroTurf wholesalers pop up on my Facebook page or see a ONE TIME ONLY SALE PRICE on my Instagram feed for a corny little $9.99 scarecrow lawn ornament.

So, maybe here is what Google will never know about our students or us:

  1. That they can critically analyze the good stuff from the bad stuff or the politically driven stuff from the purest-of-the-heart stuff as they search for information. Google cannot keep up with our human mind-shifts.

  2. That someone who loves them may have called them today and asked how they were doing and after having a conversation with that person, they felt better about themselves and maybe even better about the entire world. Google cannot keep up with what is in our hearts or our human spirit.

  3. That experts and teachers are really important for students and laypeople in order to help us out with the intricacies of reckoning with #1 listed above. Maybe these are the true Prophets that our society needs whether we are with our students, face-to-face, or working with them remotely. Google cannot compete with human experts because, in fact, many experts are the ones who post information to the internet in the first place. We just have to sift through muck to find expert knowledge.

Put best, author Tom Nichols created a masterpiece book entitled, The Death of Expertise, where he devotes an entire chapter in order to discuss how Google and “unlimited information is really making is dumber.”

I use Google almost everyday. I'm not anti-Google. But, what if, just what if, we can feel somewhat rest-assured that while big brother might be watching every click of our mouse, they will never, ever truly know everything about us? Search engines cannot compete with the beautiful, God created human brain and heart that really holds humanity together.

While you are working with your students in on-line platforms, I invite you to teach them these points and demonstrate the history behind intuitive technologies. Show them the beauty of technology, the rich history of how it evolved, but most of all, show them how they "fit" into the big picture as truly being in charge of what is around them. Tell them about hashtags. What are they good for and what do they really do? Our human intelligence and spirit enable us to work alongside technology and not feel dominated by it.

For my last tongue-in-cheek-blog maneuver: It's funny how Google doesn’t realize that people all over the world are running algorithms for creating bogus internet searches in order to “mess” with Google and throw the search engine and marketing giant way off track. Yeah, that’s what Google will never know about us: That we are human and smart, that we are analytical, and that we may even be academically maniacal at times, from scarecrows to AstroTurf. Notice my completely unrelated or untrue hashtags for archiving this article on the internet.

#ihatekittens #ihavenobellybutton #ipouredmilkintomyshoe

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Rick Jetter, Ph.D.

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